The Russian military demonstrates their 4WD and 6WD military vehicles. The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation (Russian: Вооружённые Си́лы Росси́йской Федера́ции, tr. Vooruzhonnije Síly Rossíyskoj Federátsii) are the military services of Russia, established after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. On 7 May 1992, Boris Yeltsin signed a presidential decree establishing the Russian Ministry of Defence and placing all Soviet Armed Forces troops on the territory of the Russian SFSR under Russian control. The commander-in-chief of the armed forces is the president of Russia. Although the Russian armed forces were formed in 1992, the Russian military dates its roots back to the times of the Kievan Rus’.
The number of troops is specified by decree of the President of Russia. On 1 January 2008, a number of 2,019,629 units, including military of 1,134,800 units, was set. In 2010 the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) estimated that the Russian Armed Forces numbered about 1,040,000 active troops and in the region of 2,035,000 reserves (largely ex-conscripts). As opposed to personnel specified by decree, actual personnel in the forces and paid was reported by the Audit Chamber of Russia as 766,000 in October 2013. As of December 2013, the armed forces are at 82 percent of the required manpower.
According to SIPRI, Russia spent nearly $72 billion on arms in 2011. Russia is planning further increases in its military spending, with draft budgets showing a 53% rise in real terms up to 2014. However, SIPRI adds that many analysts are doubtful whether the industry will be able to deliver on such ambitious plans after decades of stagnation following the collapse of the Soviet Union.
As of 2008, some 480,000 young men are brought into the Army via conscription in two call-ups each year. The term of service is 12 months. Eligible age is 18 to 27 years old.
Deferments are provided to undergraduate and graduate students, men solely supporting disabled relatives, parents of at least two children and — upon Presidential proclamation — to some employees of military-oriented enterprises. Men holding Ph.D. as well as sons and brothers of servicemen killed or disabled during their military service are released of conscription.
There are widespread problems with hazing in the Army, known as dedovshchina, where first-year draftees are bullied by second-year draftees, a practice that appeared in its current form after the change to a two-year service term in 1967. According to Anna Politkovskaya, in 2002, “a complete battalion, more than five hundred men, had been killed not by enemy fire but by beatings”. To combat this problem, a new decree was signed in March 2007, which cut the conscription service term from 24 to 18 months. The term was cut further to one year on 1 January 2008.
Thirty percent of Russian Armed Forces’ personnel were contract servicemen at the end of 2005. For the foreseeable future, the Armed Forces will be a mixed contract/conscript force. The Russian Armed Forces need to maintain a mobilization reserve to have manning resources capable of reinforcing the permanent readiness forces if the permanent readiness forces cannot deter or suppress an armed conflict on their own.
The ranks of the Russian military are also open to non-Russian citizens of the Commonwealth of Independent States, of which Russia is the largest member. By December 2003, the Russian parliament had approved a law in principle to permit the Armed Forces to employ foreign nationals on contract by offering them Russian citizenship after several years service. Yet up to 2010, foreigners could only serve in Russia’s armed forces after getting a Russian passport. Under a 2010 Defence Ministry plan, foreigners without dual citizenship would be able to sign up for five-year contracts and will be eligible for Russian citizenship after serving three years. The change could open the way for CIS citizens to get fast-track Russian citizenship, and counter the effects of Russia’s demographic crisis on its army recruitment.
Awards and decorations of the Armed Forces are covered at Awards and Emblems of the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation.
On 17 November 2011, General Nikolai Makarov said that Russia had reached a crisis in the conscript service where there simply were not sufficient able bodied men to draft and was forced to halve its conscription.
Each soldier in duty receives Identity Card of the Russian Armed Forces.
In March 2013, Defence Minister Shoigu promised that all army quarters would have showers by the end of the year. RIA also said that the shower plans were the latest in a series of creature-comfort improvements the Defense Ministry had recently announced. In mid-January, Shoigu said he would rid the army of its antiquated “footwraps,” or portyanki,